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Has Anyone Else Got To The Stage Of Not Leaving The House?

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Ok so I've had moderate acne for the past 8 or so years (started at 13, now 21) and during that time I've become increasingly introverted and nervous around people. I've always avoided big social situations as much as possible but I did actually have some sort of social life (albeit quite a restricted one) until quite recently with the help of the wondrous invention of foundation.

However, in the past few months I've developed severe cystic acne which can no longer be successfully covered up by make-up and, with the exception of my graduation ceremony last week, I haven't actually left the house in about 2 months. My friends keep texting and calling asking me to go out and do things with people but I literally feel like a monster even with a tonne of foundation on because it just doesn't cover up these huge cysts any more. Obviously I'm on various treatments and trying everything I possibly can to improve my skin but it all works so slowly and in the meantime it's just painful, swollen and ugly every minute of the day and I'm too embarrassed to even contemplate showing my face to the outside world. What a sad and sorry existence indeed! It feels like it will never end and I'm so incredibly bored and miserable!!!

Does anyone else have this issue? How on earth are you supposed to get around it and have anything resembling a normal life? And does anyone know of anything that can make these massive deep cysts hurt any less and/or reduce their size?

Sorry for the long rant I just needed to vent to somebody who might actually understand why I feel like this. Any advice would be seriously appreciated!

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i feel your pain, i really struggling leaving the house atm due to my skin being really bad, im also twenty and been suffereing with acne for seven years. Its got really bad recently and im now on roaccutane, fingers crossed it works cause its ruined my confidence :(

Are you on any medication btw? I would get to your doctors and tell them how its affecting your life, i feel they take you more seriously if you tell them its making you feel miserable. I done this with my gp and they finally referred me to a dermatologist it does take a while to be referred though but at least your seeing a skin expert as opposed to a gp.

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I know where you're coming from. Fortunately for me its summer break from college so I don't really have to go anywhere and I'm actually quite content being alone as I love to read and watch TV series so I'm doing alright as far as boredom goes.

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kimbea24

It's awful isn't it?! I literally have no confidence either and I feel like we should have grown out of it by now, although I know a lot of people on here have got it into their 30s and 40s (not a very reassuring fact in itself). I've been to my poor GP three times in the past two weeks. She's made me a dermatology referral but said that all she can do in the meantime is put me on Dianette and Lymecycline as I've exhausted all the prescription topicals already. Out of interest, how long did it take for you between getting a referral and actually going to a dermatology appointment? My GP said I'd be eligible for Roaccutane but I'm not too keen on the idea having read about all the nasty side effects people on here have experienced. I'm hoping the dermatologist might come up with some alternative treatments I haven't yet tried though! Did they offer you anything other than Roaccutane?

HeftyMug

I'm the same, on summer break from university right now, and I do like reading and TV series but it's getting a bit tiresome by now! I've actually started teaching myself Latin if that gives you any indication of how bored I am! Nice to know I'm not the only one who feels like this though, nobody I know understands it in the slightest.

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I know it really does but hopefully things will get better! They only can. I suppose by that age i hope i will be a bit more comfortable in my skin to deal with it, i think at the age we are you care a lot more about what people think of you hopefully by that age your a bit more self-assured! That's really positive that she has referred you, i would try and think of that as a positive step that your going to be seen by someone who is an expert on skin.I have actually been on lymecycline and dianette not at the same time though. Lymecycline actually worked pretty well for me but the effects of it only lasted so long. I have tried dianette twice aswell it seemed to really flare up my acne and also really affected my moods (my flatmates felt as though i was a different person when i was on it). That doesn't mean it will do that to you, everyone reacts differently to different things but always try and be aware of some of the side effects of medication because sometimes it can do that to you without you realising, that is what happened to me, I would be patient with the stuff though i know its tough but they unfortunately take time to work. I got referred around April and got seen around June so not too bad, i guess it depends on what area of the country you are in aswell and how long there waiting lists are. I would say you should maybe consider it, it is like a last resort drug but sometimes on here i feel some people blow things out of proportion or exaggerate. It is a big commitment to go on it with the birth control aspects and the blood/urine tests though. I think there will be pros and cons to going on it. What i done was spoke to friends who had been on it and they all said it was worth it so i kinda thought what did i have to lose. They didn't offer me anything else but i have kind of exhausted every other option and i kind of felt it was time to go on it. I would really consider it, i will let you know how i get on with it aswell. Just message me if your needing a moan about acne :)

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I was at that point a few months ago and it made me feel so much worse. I went on accutane and just forced myself to go out like I normally would and although it's hard at times, it's much better than avoiding friends and declining invitations for social occasions. My face has improved since starting accutane luckily which makes things easier but I still have a ways to go yet. Nobody treats me any different because of my skin so I was basically hiding from nothing. So hang in there and remember that it's only temporary.

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kimbea24

Thank you so much for your post! I was on such a low but getting such supportive words from you has really helped! I got my referral through the post this morning so have now booked an appointment with the dermatologist and although it's not until the 20th September it's definitely a move in the right direction as you say. It's good to hear that Lymecycline helped you even if the effects didn't last. My skin does seem to be improving slightly at the moment but at real snail pace and it's still pretty horrific. I think the Dianette is also going to be a long waiting game but I'm really hoping it might help me a bit. I will keep an eye out for the side effects you mentioned though.

The plus side of the wait is that I do now have a bit of time to think about the Roaccutane option some more. I think you're right that there's a definite bias towards the horror stories of Roaccutane on these forums, I guess because people who've had massive success with it probably don't come on here any more. It's interesting to hear that your friends have had positive experiences with it though and I'd really like to hear about how you get on with it. Hopefully you'll be able to add a nice success story to these forums!

Tim741

I know what you mean it does seem to send you into a downward spiral and I'm completely aware that I'm doing it to myself but the idea of facing all my friends with skin like mine is at the moment is just terrifying. I think I'm going to see if I can improve it a bit and then go out with make-up on occasionally and work up in stages maybe. I don't think my friends would really treat me any differently either but I'm just so ashamed of it knowing that they all have really good skin and I look like the ugly monster sidekick - stupid I know but that's how it feels. It just makes me so self-conscious in social situations that I never enjoy them anyway so I end up thinking what's the point? I always try to tell myself that it's temporary but after 8 years without a single day of clear skin it really doesn't feel like that any more. I literally can't even remember what it feels like to have clear skin or leave the house without a tonne of make-up. But I guess we have to believe it will get better at some point however unlikely that scenario feels at the moment. It's just really really difficult to keep positive!

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Yep. I feel like that stage ALL THE TIME. The one thing I love to do the most in this world is work out at the gym and lift weights. I do it 6 times a week, I keep the diet up and everything. I never miss a day at the gym and never slack off, regardless if I am sick, tired or whatever, BUT the ONE thing that will keep me from going is acne. It makes me just so furious thinking about it. I been almost done with accutane and everything and nothing has fully healed my problems with acne yet, this is just disapointing to me. Anyways, I often work a lot, but there are times I just wanna stay home and I do often. Either I go work out for a few hours, then I come home and chill the rest of the day. Would be nice to chill at home with some one though. SOme one to like talk to, watch movies, cook with. If I found some one like that ina relationship, then that would be like striking gold, but I've not had much luck with girls. Not cause I look bad or anything, but I just don't know how to approach woman in general. ONly 19 too right now, so I figure I might as well wait a bit.

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I know how hard it is to feel insecure because of your looks but you're only 21 once, so why not have the time of your life and forget about your acne. When you're outside, you will forget about your problem until you look at a mirror but don't let that get in the way of your happiness. Go out and have some fun with your friends. They'll still accept you, acne free or not.

Take care.

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omgmike4

Yeh you're right it's good to have a hobby you can consistently do to take your mind off it. Mine is playing the cello which luckily I can do inside the house! Doesn't really help with the whole going out and socialising thing but it definitely makes me feel a whole lot better.

TheOneThatGotAway

Thank you for your encouraging words, they mean a lot! I'm going to try to get out more in small steps. One day I will reach normality! :)

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Heck yes, I struggle with this. I would even call in sick at work and I NEVER thought I would do that sad.png It's just so sad. You're not the only one out there struggling. I agree with many of the posters still encouraging you to go out, but I know it can be "easier said than done" at times.

Just this morning, I had a derm appointment and had three cortisone injections. I went to pay and was busy trying to find my credit card... when I look up, there is a male young looking nurse just staring at me - gawking. As soon as we made eye contact, he immediately looked away. Anyone who suffers from this can tell when people look at your skin and not your face. I REFUSED TO GET EMBARASSED. F--- HIM. Sorry for the vulgarity, but just because I have this, doesn't make me a freak. (I know I feel that way, but that doesn't give people permission to gawk).

This happened a few more times yesterday, but for some reason, I just didn't care. Doesn't always work, but maybe I fake toughness :to get through the day sometimes smile.png

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Thanks MaskedOne it's definitely easier said than done! I hate that people think it's ok to stare, as though we're not doing everything humanly possible to stop ourselves looking like this. People are so judgmental.

I wish I could get myself some of your "I don't care" attitude. During term time I always make myself go out and attend all my lectures because academic work is so important to me and I really love my course. But during the holidays I always end up thinking "I'll just wait till my skin gets a bit better" (which of course it never does) or I plan to go out and then get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and quickly change my mind and cancel.

Currently I haven't left the house for 8 days and before that one day I did (for my graduation) it had reached 25 days. I hate it when I get back to uni and people ask "What did you get up to over summer?" and I'm just thinking to myself "I literally stayed in my house and didn't see anyone almost solidly for 4 months". It happens every year and I know it's utterly pathetic but It's just so difficult to force yourself out when you look and feel so awful and I'm usually too self-conscious to enjoy myself much even when I do. I'm also really nervous of people and social situations now which I never used to be and I presume is probably a long-term result of this stupid horrible acne. I don't understand why some of us deserve this never-ending issue!!

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i havent left the house during the day in weeks, i only come alive at nightime, nobody rings me until after dark now comfort.gif but this stuff isnt funny people ruin their lives over this

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I know it's sad isn't it. Hopefully it will one day get better for all of us!

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So an update to just provide an example of how difficult it is to have the "I don't care, eff 'em" attitude: My skin was not looking so great yesterday after three injections, but I still went out, as I mentioned above, and most of the day was okay. Didn't feel confident, but facing strangers didn't bother me. Who cares, right?

However, later in the afternoon I decided to visit some family friends since I was still feeling the "I don't care" mantra in my head. Well, they stared at my skin. I mean, they were so clearly looking at my chin where the injections had turned into in small scabs. (I was really trying to not use makeup to cover it up because I'd rather let the skin breathe) The marks were obvious, but to continue to look at them while I'm talking made me so self-conscious. I left within an hour or so. I couldn't pretend I didn't care anymore.

I got home and started crying. I looked in the mirror and for the first time, I saw my blemishes and not ME. Very upsetting. So while yesterday started out ok, it ended on a sad note.

Today is a new day. Hoping to feel a little better and begrudgingly, put on more makeup and pretend that it's "fun."

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Hey, im in the same boat as you. my skin sucks and it has been affecting my life the past few years. its like there is no cure.

Socially I have been a wreck before just like what you are going through. I missed so many great social opportunities due to acne my senior year of high school and i told myself i would not let it happen again. Unfortunately, now i am in college and although i have gotten a little better mentally, i am still struggling when it comes to coping with my acne. I know people are looking at my skin. And the thing that sucks is that I know I am not being the real me. I used to love going out every night with my friends, but now its like i only go out if i can deal with my skin. If my skin sucks or i feel a pimple coming up, i stay in and get really depressed. I too get those days when i want to give up or just pop every nasty pimple on my face. I then get mad that i am the one in the family with the bad acne. Its as if noone understands because they have never had acne.

A couple years ago i had such a panic attack that i tried to overdose on pills :( ...that was a very sad day for me

I am also half spanish, so once a pimple is gone it takes a couple weeks for the mark to fade away, which sucks

Honestly, the best way to get through acne is staying strong with your friends family and never give up. Friends and family are who keep my going in life. Without them i would have no support and i would ultimately give up. You also need to have confidence in yourself and tell yourself you are beautiful because essentially everyone is. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I truly respect anyone who has been through the harsh times of acne because it can make you want to stay in the house until it goes away.

Unfortunately, acne is not a one day thing and because of that you just need to go out with your friends and fam and remember that ONE DAY it will go away! I honestly cannot wait for that day!! I already told myself that once my acne goes away i am eating all burgers and fries i want haha!

It sounds like to me that we have been through a lot of the same things.

I think together we can get past acne :)

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I start my junior year of college in late August and I don't know what I will do to cover my acne. My face was getting better about a few months back, but then suddenly I started getting like 6 painful cysts or nodules on my chin. My cheeks are also horrible because my red marks have still not healed completely from 7 months ago. They are clearly visible because I have fair skin. So I am in the same boat.

I have not left the house during the day for months too, after I finished the spring semester of college. So for the whole summer, I only go out at night if I need to buy some food.

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same here, on my summer break from Uni, although i don't have acne anymore, i still have a few red marks left over from it, and just those marks sometimes put me of social events, i purposely sometimes decline an event just so i know i can have more free time for my skin to heal, even though i know my friends won't care, its just i would rather look my best if that makes sense.

Anyway everyone goes through these stages, you just have to live it i suppose, and i'm sure your acne phase won't last for much longer, the older you get it gets a lot easier, well for me anyway, i'm sure it will for you tooo!

Ps have a healthy diet if your not already.

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I often feel like not leaving the house but it's only really an issue when I'm on holidays from uni and I have a lot of free time. I know I should make an effort to catch up with people and socialise etc but it's hard to do that when you feel so self-conscious and unconfident.

So that's one good thing about being back at uni - it's a lot easier to go out because I actually have to go to class. And this way I'm out seeing friends and possibly meeting new people (if not actually meeting people, I'm still faced with being around a lot of people). I feel better about myself when I am out and about like normal.

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I start my junior year of college in late August and I don't know what I will do to cover my acne. My face was getting better about a few months back, but then suddenly I started getting like 6 painful cysts or nodules on my chin. My cheeks are also horrible because my red marks have still not healed completely from 7 months ago. They are clearly visible because I have fair skin. So I am in the same boat.

I have not left the house during the day for months too, after I finished the spring semester of college. So for the whole summer, I only go out at night if I need to buy some food.

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Hey, sorry I haven't checked on this thread in a while and wanted to reply to you all so this is going to be one massive long post!

So an update to just provide an example of how difficult it is to have the "I don't care, eff 'em" attitude: My skin was not looking so great yesterday after three injections, but I still went out, as I mentioned above, and most of the day was okay. Didn't feel confident, but facing strangers didn't bother me. Who cares, right?

However, later in the afternoon I decided to visit some family friends since I was still feeling the "I don't care" mantra in my head. Well, they stared at my skin. I mean, they were so clearly looking at my chin where the injections had turned into in small scabs. (I was really trying to not use makeup to cover it up because I'd rather let the skin breathe) The marks were obvious, but to continue to look at them while I'm talking made me so self-conscious. I left within an hour or so. I couldn't pretend I didn't care anymore.

I got home and started crying. I looked in the mirror and for the first time, I saw my blemishes and not ME. Very upsetting. So while yesterday started out ok, it ended on a sad note.

Today is a new day. Hoping to feel a little better and begrudgingly, put on more makeup and pretend that it's "fun."

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It is 5:15am UK time and I have not slept a wink all night. I have to go to work today but after a nightmare CBT session yesterday (see the below link to a post I posted yesterday), I just want to curl-up, hide and not face the world.

The rational part of me knows that no one will say anything about my skin. The rational part also knows that there is so much more to me and everyone else than just our skin and appearance. However, when your therapist takes a photo of you that is hideous and ugly and then struggles to come up with any positive comment about your appearance and when you own sister pulls away from you when she goes to give you a peck on the cheek because she has noticed your breakout (this happened on Sunday), it is almost impossible to not feel repulsive and ugly.

MoonlitRiver, I wish that I could offer you some advice on your situation and how to get over it but I would be a hypocrite if I did as I certainly don`t practice what I preach. Sorry!

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It is 5:15am UK time and I have not slept a wink all night. I have to go to work today but after a nightmare CBT session yesterday (see the below link to a post I posted yesterday), I just want to curl-up, hide and not face the world.

The rational part of me knows that no one will say anything about my skin. The rational part also knows that there is so much more to me and everyone else than just our skin and appearance. However, when your therapist takes a photo of you that is hideous and ugly and then struggles to come up with any positive comment about your appearance and when you own sister pulls away from you when she goes to give you a peck on the cheek because she has noticed your breakout (this happened on Sunday), it is almost impossible to not feel repulsive and ugly.

MoonlitRiver, I wish that I could offer you some advice on your situation and how to get over it but I would be a hypocrite if I did as I certainly don`t practice what I preach. Sorry!

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Yeah, I'm now at this point. I don't leave the house except for doctor's appointments, which lately have all been for injections. I can't even make it to the grocery store and I need groceries. I'm just making due, and I really don't care. When people stare at you and they're the nurses AT the doctor's office, it really doesn't make you feel confident going out. It also happened at the pharmacy. I could tell pharmacist was trying not to look at the cyst-that-makeup-can't-even-hide, but she was failing miserably.

So this will sound funny, but it's the only analogy I can think of: When men stare at women's boobs, and you'll see the woman snap her fingers and say, "hey, up here" and point to her eyes. That's what I want to say to people when they stare at my skin.

I haven't been out since last Friday. Or rather, I haven't had social interaction since last Friday.

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Or rather, I have had social interaction since last Friday.

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